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Concealed Handguns and CCW: What is it all about?

Updated on September 18, 2012

The Keltec P-32

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Indiana is one of the almost 40 states where citizens can exercise their right to bear arms on a daily basis. I am one of the 350,000 Hoosiers who chose to do so, and I carry a small handgun almost everywhere in my front pocket.

A little while back, my work took me into Gary, which has been the murder capitol for several of the past ten years.

I parked my van in a empty parking lot, and having locked the door behind me, went to take a look around the outside of the building I was going to do work on for a cursory inspection before heading back to the van.

When I was about 100 feet from the van, I noticed two older teens dressed in the fashionable "gang" style coming down the other side of the street. They saw me at the same time. They immediately wheeled in my direction and, after diagonally crossing the street, started walking towards me. Any instructor of self-defense techniques will tell you that this maneuver is a clear and present danger signal that you've become a target.

I managed to make it back to the van, while listening to them the whole time trash-talking about how they were the baddest ones in the ‘hood and it belonged to them. They were catching up to me pretty fast.

The driver door was on the other side of the van, away from the street, and I understood that I would have to have my back turned to them as I was trying to unlock the door. Not only would any action they took be blocked from any passerby by my van, but it put me in a highly vulnerable position.

Now, it's easy to say that I should not have put myself in that position in the first place by going to Gary, but that only holds true if one is willing to redline the entire city.

I must admit, I was quite concerned for my safety. I'm middle-aged, slow, fatter than I should be, and with a bum leg. Facing down two urban teens was not what I wanted to do when I woke up that morning, ready to greet the day. However, that was exactly what I had to do, because no more than a second or two after I reached the driver's door the two came around the back side of my van and began approaching me.

Because I have a understanding that a gun can be a source of good things happening I am able to finish the story. As I rounded the back of the van myself, I put my hand into my front pocket and wrapped it around my legally carried handgun. When I hit the locked driver's door, I turned and put my back to the door, and faced outward, keeping my hand in the pocket. I had the confidence that if needed, I was going to be able to defend myself, and quite possibly, my life.

This must have showed on my face. The youths came around the back of the van and saw me calmly standing there waiting for them. I didn't say anything, and I didn't pull the gun - but my attitude certainly said they needed to reconsider any very-near future actions they were contemplating.

They were predators, and they understood this very well. Weak targets of opportunity are eaten quickly, but those who give strong indications that they'll bite back are left alone. They backed away, turned, and headed across the lot to places unknown.

The comfort is never in knowing that one can "take a life" with a gun, but the sure knowing that one can save a life with a gun. My life, my wife's, or maybe my daughters. These are the people I am responsible for.

I hope to never have to use a gun for defensive purposes. But knowing that is was there when I possibly needed it allowed me to go back home to my family that day, with no harm and no foul to anyone.

I invite you to look around at some of my other writings. I am sure you'll find something to enjoy. For the firearms enthusiasts I have Reduce firearm accidents -- The Fundamentals of Gun Safety and if you're a backyard griller you might enjoy From Motown to KC, from Cajun Country to California, 21 great American BBQ Sauce recipes


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